Election 2018: Hennepin County Sheriff

I wrote about this race in the primary, but I emphasized what an absolute asshole Rich Stanek is, so I wanted to briefly revisit this race and talk a little about what makes Dave Hutch so cool.

Rich Stanek (who’s an asshole) is a Trump supporter and an ICE lackey. Dave Hutch wants to make sure that anyone, regardless of where they were born, can come to law enforcement if they’re a victim of or witness to a crime, and if they’re suspected of a crime, he wants them treated like anyone else.

(Here’s a really excellent article that talks in more detail about the Sheriff’s role in immigration policy enforcement, and how Dave Hutch will be different from Rich Stanek.)

Hutch wants to require training on mental health crises and de-escalation. He wants transparency in government (Stanek is openly contemptuous of FOIA requests.) He would be the first openly gay Sheriff in Minnesota. He has decades of experience in law enforcement and is also the son of a police officer, so if you’re looking at all this thinking “yes, but can he do the actual job here,” the answer is definitely.

If you live in Hennepin County, please vote for Dave Hutch and talk to your friends about this race. Hennepin is an overwhelmingly DFL county, but a lot of people don’t know a ton about the Sheriff’s office or Rich Stanek. Make sure they know why they should vote for Dave Hutch!

EDITED 10/20 TO ADD: a Facebook Live video of a Stanek fundraiser (which he’s at). He poses with “MAGA-Woman,” there are two people cosplaying Trump, it’s really … something.

Election 2018: School Funding

Both Minneapolis and Saint Paul are running a school funding levy referendum this year.

In Minneapolis, there are two questions:

Approval of School District Referendum Revenue Authorization

The Board of Special School District No. 1 (Minneapolis Public Schools) has proposed to increase its general education revenue by $490.00 per pupil. The proposed referendum revenue authorization would increase each year by the rate of inflation and be applicable for seven years beginning with taxes payable in 2019, unless otherwise revoked or reduced as provided by law.

Shall the increase in the revenue proposed by the board of Special School District No. 1 be approved?

AND:

Approval of School District Capital Project Levy Authorization

The Board of Special School District No. 1 (Minneapolis Public Schools) has proposed a capital project levy authorization in the amount of 2.249% times the net tax capacity of the school district to provide funds for the purchase, installation, and maintenance of software applications and technology equipment, and for training and directly related personnel costs. The proposed capital project levy authorization will raise approximately $12,000,000 for taxes payable in 2019, the first year it is to be levied, and would be authorized for seven years. The estimated total cost of the projects to be funded over that time period is approximately $84,000,000.

Shall the increase in the revenue proposed by the board of Special School District No. 1 be approved?

In St. Paul, there is one question:

Revoking Existing Operating Referendum Revenue Authorization; Approving New Authorization

The school board of Independent School District No. 625, Saint Paul Public Schools, has proposed to revoke the school district’s existing operating referendum revenue authorization of $704.52 per pupil and to replace that authorization with a new authorization of $1179.52 per pupil. The proposed referendum revenue authorization would increase each year by the rate of inflation and be applicable for ten years, beginning with taxes payable in 2019, unless otherwise revoked or reduced as provided by law.

Shall the school district’s existing operating referendum revenue authorization be revoked and the increase in revenue proposed by the school board of Independent School District No. 625, Saint Paul Public Schools, be approved?

Saint Paul has a Vote Yes site.

Minneapolis has a Vote Yes Twice site.

There does not appear to be any organized opposition to either initiative.

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Elections 2018: Minneapolis School Board At-Large

I didn’t write about this race in the primary because there were five candidates running in the primary, four of whom would advance to the general election, and I thought that surely Doug Mann would come in last and I could just write about this race in October. That is exactly what happened. There are four candidates running for two at-large seats (which is to say, seats that are supposed to represent the whole city).

On the ballot:

Kimberly Caprini (DFL-endorsed)
Sharon El-Amin
Josh Pauly (DFL-endorsed)
Rebecca Gagnon (Incumbent)

Kimberly Caprini and Josh Pauly are both DFL-endorsed. Rebecca Gagnon is an incumbent. There are two open seats, so you get to vote for two people (but you don’t get to rank people because school board races are controlled by state legislation and not by the city).

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Election 2018: Minneapolis City Question

There is a City Charter referendum on the Minneapolis ballot this year, asking the following question:

City Question

Remove Area and Spacing Requirements for Liquor Licenses

Shall the Minneapolis City Charter be amended to remove from the City Charter the area and spacing requirements pertaining to liquor licenses?

You vote either YES or NO.

Coverage I’ve found:

Referendum may expand restaurant liquor licensing, Southwest Journal

Ballot Question #1 on November 6 City Ballot, Fulton Neighborhood Association

YesOn1, from the restaurant owners who would like to be able to serve cocktails

Minneapolis neighborhood restaurants fight for the right to serve cocktails, Star Tribune

Basically, right now, if you are a restaurant owner whose building is on quaint little street corner that’s not a large commercial district, and you would like to serve wine, beer, and cocktails, you have to hire a lobbyist to get you an exemption from the state legislature in order to serve the cocktails. You also have to get a liquor license from the city for all this stuff.

This will remove the step where you have to go to the legislature. (Licensing will work basically the same otherwise.) This does not affect retail establishments such as grocery stores and liquor stores — just restaurants.

This is a ridiculous thing to even have in the city charter and can definitely be handled by the licensing board. Vote yes.

 

 

 

 

 

Election 2018: US House, 5th Congressional District

As I started up a video to watch Jennifer Zielinski talk at the State Fair along with Greg Ryan, it occurred to me that I could maybe devote a little less perfectionistic attention to the races where (a) nothing I find is going to change who I’d vote for and (b) nothing I write is going to change who wins.

This seat hasn’t been held by a Republican since 1962.  Keith Ellison’s lowest total was 56% the first time he ran, when the Republican and the Independence candidate more or less tied with 21%. The most impressively unbalanced result was in 2012, when Keith got 75% to the Republican’s 25%.

Given this, I’m sure it was a huge relief to the Republicans that Jennifer Zielinski stepped forward to run and the Republican slot didn’t go to Bob “Again” Carney, who published a book calling for Trump to be impeached, or Chris Chamberlin, who ran for President in 2016 under the name Vlad Draculea. Their best case in a race like this is a friendly, hardworking, basically normal person who will campaign and turn out the vote because it’ll help them in statewide races.

On the ballot:

Ilhan Omar (DFL)
Jennifer Zielinski (Republican)

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Election 2018: Hennepin County Attorney

The Hennepin County Attorney does a bunch of stuff but here’s the aspect of the job that tends to get the most attention these days: this is the person who decides whether to file charges against the cops when they shoot someone.

Currently, the job is held by Mike Freeman, who did file charges against Mohamed Noor for shooting Justine Damond, but did not file charges against the officers who shot Jamar Clark or Thurman Blevins. His opponent is Mark Haase. More below the cut.

On the ballot:

Mike Freeman (Incumbent)
Mark Haase (DFL-endorsed)

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